Saturday, September 27, 2008

Get some OATS

People often ask me where I get time to find good educational software to use with their Interactive White Board. I have a couple of secrets that reduce the time it takes to search for stuff.

One of my secrets is OATS - Open Source Assistive Technology Software. This is a great site for those people working with clients with special needs, but also any educator who is after software that might fit a particular need in the classroom.

OATS is how I found one of my favorite pieces of software - Edword. Similar to Clicker, it allows teachers to make on screen concept keyboards, then use them in a very simple talking (SAPI)text editor. This can be used in a range of classrooms from early childhood right up to remedial reading and writing.

It's also a great idea to to go and visit these site regularly - once every couple of months to see what has changed. Luckily I did just before writing this up.

We have been looking for a way to turn the NOVA5000 into a Alternative Communication Board, but we have had trouble finding suitable software at a decent price (one vendor's software was the same price of a retail version of a Nova5000).

So while looking in OATS to see if anything new had been added I noticed a open sourced com-board solution had just been added. Not only that but had been tested on a NOVA5000. It basicly makes interactive com-board webpages.

I'll tell you some of my other sources of free software later... if your lucky.

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